Investigators Find Neglect in Nursing Home Death
A Minnesota nursing home has been charged with neglect after a resident died from injuries she sustained after falling onto a concrete sidewalk outside of the facility.
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Minnesota’s Office of Health Facilities Complaints (OHFC) concluded its investigation on Dec. 21 into the May 2016 death of the resident of Cornerstone Villa, a 44-bed not-for-profit nursing home in Buhl, MN.
The OHFC found that the facility’s staff members neglected to provide the resident with proper and attentive care.
The resident was admitted to the nursing home one day before that accident occurred. Her initial admittance review found that she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, sensory difficulty and generalized weakness. The nursing home concluded that the resident was aware of her identity, but was unable to recognize time or locations.
A physical therapist evaluated the resident on the morning of May 5 and determined that she should be assisted by a staff member at all times when walking to prevent falls.
Several hours later, five staff members witnessed the resident walking alone and unassisted aside from the support of a walker and neglected to aid her, according to the OHFC’s report.
An alarm then alerted the staff that the front door to the facility had opened. A nursing assistant and a licensed practical nurse arrived to find the resident lying face down on a sidewalk surrounded in blood.
The resident was taken to a local hospital with multiple facial fractures and was then transferred to a larger hospital, where she died two days later.
An internal investigative report filed by Cornerstone Villa states that the woman’s walker had become tangled in the door frame, causing her to trip and fall.
The nursing home’s administrator claims that her staff acted with diligence immediately following the incident to fix the situation. She also stated that the incident occurred because the facility’s staff members had not yet had time to acquaint themselves with the patient’s needs.
In Sept. 2016, the OHFC found that Cornerstone Villa made the necessary corrections to prevent similar accidents and was back in compliance with the state’s standards of care.
Nursing homes are obligated to provide adequate care to ensure the safety of elderly residents. This is especially true for Alzheimer’s patients who tend to wander more than other residents and require attentive care to prevent injury.
If a facility’s staff member’s failure to uphold this obligation results in a resident’s death or injury, the facility can be held liable.
Call 877-877-2228 to find out if you have a claim